For Immediate Release
October 25, 2011
Catherine L. Bernhard, Senior Assistant Attorney General
Insurance Fraud Unit Prosecutor
Consumer Protection and Anti Trust Bureau
(603) 271-2898 or (603) 271-7973 x 235
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Insurance Commissioner Roger A. Sevigny announced today the conviction of Monique L. Peaslee for Insurance Fraud. Ms. Peaslee was convicted of misdemeanor insurance fraud relating to information on her application for insurance with Government Employees Insurance Company, ("GEICO").
A plea and sentencing hearing was held on October 24, 2011 at Strafford County Superior Court at which Ms. Peaslee was found guilty of a class A misdemeanor insurance fraud. Ms. Peaslee's sentence included twelve months at the Strafford County House of Corrections and a $1,000.00 fine. According to the terms of the plea agreement, the House of Corrections sentence and $500.00 of the fine were suspended for two years upon Ms. Peaslee's good behavior. Ms. Peaslee paid GEICO restitution for the cost of its investigation into the fraud, and wrote a letter to the company apologizing for her conduct.
On October 1, 2010, Ms. Peaslee struck a car in Farmington, NH when she pulled out into traffic. Ms. Peaslee's GEICO insurance policy had lapsed on August 29, 2010. After exchanging information with the driver of the other car, Ms. Peaslee returned home and called GEICO and reinstated her automobile insurance. Ms. Peaslee did not tell the GEICO representative about the accident when she called.
On October 8, 2010, Ms. Peaslee called GEICO to report the accident. Ms. Peaslee told the GEICO representative that she was at fault for the accident and that the driver of the other car was going to file a claim against the GEICO policy. Ms. Peaslee stated that the accident happened one day after she reinstated her policy with GEICO. Ms. Peaslee never filed a claim for damage to her own car.
GEICO referred the claim to the NH Insurance Department when Ms. Peaslee did not return calls from the GEICO SIU. The NH Insurance Department fraud investigator noticed inconsistencies between the dates provided in witness statements made to GEICO representatives and the GEICO records surrounding the reinstatement of the policy. The insurance fraud investigator interviewed Ms. Peaslee. She was asked about the apparent conflict between the witness statements and the GEICO records. Ms. Peaslee admitted that she called GEICO to reinstate her policy on the same day as the accident. She admitted she did not mention the accident to GEICO at the time she reinstated her policy, and that when she filed the claim for damage to the other car, she said that the accident happened one day after her GEICO insurance was reinstated.
The conviction is the result of collaboration between the NH Attorney General's Office and the NH Insurance Department Fraud Unit. The Fraud Unit was formed under RSA 417 to investigate and prosecute Insurance Fraud and other insurance-related criminal activity with the assistance of the NH Department of Justice.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301